Preparing for Aubrey

I think I’ve almost set a record between my Grandmother, Mom, Aunt & my Sister…. for being pregnant the longest. Not really a record I want to set, but here I am, none-the-less. Still going strong at 39wks 2 days.. I realize I haven’t even made it to my “due date” yet, but no one thought I was even going to make it this long.

Every day is a challenging head game of wait & see; please note: I am REALLY NOT GOOD at these type of games that test my patients and have no end date. Sure, there is an end date, BUT WHAT IS IT???

So since I’m still pregnant, I decided that maybe I actually do have time to make a few freezer meals. I had kind of been putting this off because the task itself seemed really daunting. Planning & preparing multiple meals at one time!? I can barely cook dinner without a meltdown from a certain toddler I know – How was I ever going to spend hours in the kitchen? I had a few weekends where I planned to do it, but then I just never did it.

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So Sunday afternoon I pulled out my Make it Freeze it cookbook and flipped through it until I had a few recipes. Then I went on Pinterest and found a few recipes for meals that weren’t in the book but that I wanted to make.

I wrote out my grocery list, and then text my Mom to see if she could come watch Paisley for a few hours on Monday so that I could knock out these freezer meals. I’m not a dummy, there is absolutely no way Paisley would tolerate me standing in the kitchen for hours on end. Naps are so hit & miss these days that I couldn’t really count on that either. Grandma to the rescue!

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15577899_10209420675727286_9110571610914870032_oOkay, back to my freezer meal plan.. but Paisley is so cute, right? She had a blast taking pictures with Grandma! Lot’s of twirling & singing was involved.

I planned out 6 meals, and each meal would have 4-6 servings;

Upstate Minestrone (from the Make it Freeze it cookbook)
Rustic Italian Tortellini soup (MIFI cookbook)
Zesty Hamburger soup (MIFI cookbook)
Baked Spaghetti (MIFI cookbook)
Chicken Pot pie (pinterest)
Shepherds Pie (pinterest)

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Rustic Italian Tortellini Soup: 

Prep: 20 min  / Cook: 20 min
Makes 6 servings (2 quarts)

3/4lb Italian Turkey sausage links, casings removed
1 medium onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans (14.5 oz ea) reduced sodium chicken broth
1 3/4 c water
1 can (14.5oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 package (9oz) cheese tortellini
1 pkg (6oz) fresh baby spinach, coarsely chopped
2 1/4 tsp minced fresh basil or 3/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp pepper

Instructions:

  1. Crumble the sausage into a dutch oven; add onion. Cook and stir over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Add the garlic; cook for 1 minute longer. Stir in the broth, water & tomatoes. Bring to a boil.
  2. Add the tortellini; return to a boil. Cook for 5-8 minutes or until almost tender, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat; add the spinach, basil, pepper and pepper flakes. Cook 2-3 minutes or until spinach is wilted and tortellini are tender. Serve with cheese if desired.

FREEZE OPTION:

Place individual portions of cooled soup in freezer containers and freeze. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat through in a saucepan, stirring occasionally and adding a little broth if necessary.

 

Let’s wrap this up, shall we? I’ll post the other two recipes tomorrow!

 

Jena

When you just feel inadequate

“Mommy, play with me.” She says as she grabs my hand and tries with all her might to pull me away from the stove.

It’s time to get dinner started, Paisley is bored and wants me to play with her. I have to start dinner. It’s not going to cook itself. I need to wash the dishes in the sink. I need to finish charting from today’s patient load. I need to put away the clothes from this past weekend. I need to hang the clothes that have been laying in a basket for a few days.

She pulls my hand again and asks me to play with her again. “I can’t,” I tell her, again.

My heart breaks. I feel like crying. My child wants my attention, and I can’t or won’t give it to her because so many other things also need my attention.

This scenario happens all too often around here. It’s been happening more & more frequently as she grows older and is less entertained by her current toys. Her attention span is short; it’s not her fault. She’s not even 3 yet.

Am I doing her a disservice by keeping her home with me? Am I teaching her enough? Is she getting enough engagement? We don’t play with friends nearly as often as we should.

We can’t. I don’t have time. I don’t know that many people here.

Should we send her to school? We can’t afford it. Maybe I should get a regular job that pays more, No, not an option. I don’t want her to go to school yet. I want to stay home with her.

My house is a disaster. I’ll never be able to stay on top of it because I can’t even get ahead of it.

These are all my thoughts; the things that make me feel inadequate. I’m not a good enough Mom. I’m not a good enough employee. I’m not a good enough housekeeper. I’m not a good enough Coach. I’m not a good enough friend.

I honestly never realized how many of these, “I’m not good enough” thoughts I had in my head until just now.

It is hard to feel like you’re good enough when you feel like you’re drowning in the simple day to day life.

They say the days are long & the years are short. I know that’s true, but in the middle of a shit storm, everything feels neverending.

Today is a new day. All I can do is my very best.

On wanting to do more

 

Oh writing how I’ve missed you. I’ve been longing to write again, but I’ve been kind of hesitant, again.

What do I even write about? My life is not really all that exciting. I’m a work from home Mom who struggles to balance everything that comes with being a work at home Mom. That is not super exciting or even the least bit glamorous. I’m struggling with finding my place in life – one of my closest friends said this to me today (I wrote it down because it was so true & I didn’t want to forget it) She said, “you’ve struggled with finding your place in this grown-up life.” I think that’s 100% accurate. I absolutely have.

I think it became more prevalent when Paisley as born. I really can’t remember what life was like before she was born – what did I even struggle with? Nothing that I can remember. Life was pretty simple. Chris worked a lot, traveled a lot. I spent a lot of time with my friends, who were also kid less. I went to the beach a lot, ran a lot, worked out a lot, and went to work in a regular office 35-40 hours a week. A seemingly normal life.

I do remember wanting to do more for people. I remember encountering my first breast cancer patient & her story just broke my heart in a way that it had never been broken before. I began to see healthcare in a way that I had never seen it before. Despite being in health care for 6 years at this point – I was just seeing the side where the uninsured truly struggled to get adequate healthcare. You’re probably rolling your eyes and wondering how I managed to go 20 something years on this earth without realizing this – but to be honest, I’ve had health insurance for as long as I can remember; and it’s not something I’ve ever worried about or had really encountered up until this point.

I remember wanting to do something more for this patient – wanting to help her find resources that could help her get treatments she needed, and other services that you need when you’re a breast cancer survivor. She was not the only cancer patient I watched struggle with treatments & doctors because of the lack of insurance. It was these encounters that made me realize that I wanted to do something more with my life – that I really was compassionate about helping others – but I’ve never known HOW I could do that. What is my platform? How can I reach a large amount of people, and then when I reach them, what am I going to say?

It’s hard to distinguish if I’m being called by God to write, or if it’s just something that I want to do. So, I’m going to write as I can, and about what I want until I’m told, or feel otherwise.87fc4ac3a6620019dde7418d1d2ca415

Something to say

I haven’t written lately because I haven’t felt like I had anything of any real value to say; so instead of just rambling on here & sharing my life, I’ve said nothing. But if I say nothing, what is the point of this blog?

A friend messaged me on fb earlier this week and her message made me realize that just because I don’t feel like I have nothing of value to share doesn’t mean that someone else wouldn’t find value in what I have to say.

I love that you share so much of yourself on FB bc sometimes I read something & just think “yes!”

Her message was so important to me – It’s important because I use my facebook has an outlet & a way to reach other Women & other Mom’s. Being a Mom is one of the hardest things I have ever done, and sometimes it can be so isolating.

It’s like this is this unwritten rule that Moms can’t have bad days, and if we do, we surely shouldn’t talk about it because by God we are so blessed to have these little monsters that wreak havoc on our lives 24 hours a day.

Don’t get me wrong, I am so blessed to have Paisley, and I wouldn’t trade her. I wouldn’t go back and change anything about the last 2.5 years, but being a Mom is hard. No matter if you work in a regular job, if you’re a work from home mom, or if you’re a stay at home Mom. At the end of the day, we are all responsible for raising these tiny terrors that have taken over our lives.

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so maybe I don’t have something profound to say, but I do always have something to say.

 

Until next time,

Jena

Changing my focus

 

“The mind feasts on what it focuses on. What consumes my thinking will be the making or the breaking of my identity.”

This quote from Lysa TerKeurst makes me think back to conversations I’ve had over the past few months with a few friends. I talk to these friends every day, and the conversation is basically always the same. I’m mostly complaining about this, that or the other.

I look back, and I’m exhausted & embarrassed by the amount of complaining I’ve done over the last few months. How do these friends even tolerate talking to me? Honestly, how? I’m annoying myself by how much I complain. Good grief.

When I realized this, I started to make a conscious effort to stop complaining. I would like to say that I’m complaint free, but I’m not. I’m human, but I am making an honest attempt at watching what comes out of my mouth.

The truth is, I really don’t have much to complain about. Chris has a steady job. Sure, he works 7 days a week, and that really stinks, but he has a job. I have a great job. I get to work from home & keep Paisley home with me. It’s stressful at times, and I often don’t have enough hours in the day, but I am home raising my daughter, and that’s the important thing to me.

mind feasts

To change what I’m talking about, I have to change what I’m focusing on. I’ve been diving into reading personal development books; books that are relevant to where I’m at in my life, and what I want to accomplish. I’m not just reading random books that someone else says I should read because it will help my business.

I’m reading faith based book because that’s where I’m feeling called to go. I need peace in my life, and I can’t create my own peace. I create more chaos, not peace. Jesus is the peacemaker, and I need to reconnect with him. I’m stepping back from things/people that aren’t giving me joy and moving towards things/people that will.

Life is short. It’s to short to be running around unhappy & empty.

My life goals are to be successful & happy. I don’t know what that success looks like, but I do know that being miserable to get there isn’t how I’m going to live. I’m changing what I’m focusing on so that my mind doesn’t feast on the wrong things.

A few of my favorites from this past week

I used to love to read blogs…. when I had more free time. After Paisley was born I found myself with less time to read & less time to write. When I did find time to read, I found myself annoyed by the blogs that I had once loved, so I stopped reading them altogether.

In my most recent attempt to figure out who I am & where I’m going, I’ve rediscovered my love for blogs. I’ve exchanged my love for health & fitness blogs for blogs of women who have written books, and who write about the hardships & joys of motherhood. Those are the women I relate to at this point in my life. Of course I still love health & fitness, I am a fitness coach, after all. I love working out, and eating healthy, but that isn’t an area I struggle with. I struggle with being the kind of Mom I want to be.

Today I wanted to share a few posts that I’ve enjoyed over the past week:

The Important thing about Yelling from the Hands Free Mama Blog
Free 10 day prayer journal from Lysa TerKeurst
This RV renovation is gorgeous! One of our 5 year goals is to sell our house & live in an RV.
This post on having a Misery Attitude or a  Mastery Attitude (I struggle with a misery attitude sometimes)

This verse, “Don’t think only about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too, and what they are doing.” Philippians 2:4 says

This quote from Lysa TerKeurst book, Uninvited: Living Loved When you feel less than, Left out, and Lonely….
Rejection steals the best of who I am by reinforcing the worst of what’s been said to me.”

I like good books & I cannot lie

I thank You, Lord, that as I submit myself to You today and resist the enemy and his lies, the devil must flee from me in Jesus’ name – James 4:7

I wanted to start today off with this little prayer I read in a new devotional I began reading today. I came across this devotional, Devotions for a Healthier You, by Katie Farrell a few days ago while I was searching for something else.

Let’s give Amazon a round of applause for always having an amazing list of “if you bought this, you should also buy this” list.. Gets me EVERY time!

Since I’ve become somewhat of a personal development junkie, I bought that book and a few others, of course. One day last week I went into Family Christian Book store after a particularly rough morning with Paisley. I needed Jesus, y’all. I browsed around the home goods section for a while, and then found myself among allllll the books. So many good books, I just wanted to buy them all. But being the sensible person that I am, I only bought one. from the bookstore.

The rest I scanned with the handy dandy Amazon app and added to my cart. I can’t help it if Amazon was $4-5 cheaper on every single book! If you don’t know about the amazon scanner thing, good for you! Don’t learn about it! Just kidding, if you don’t know about it, let me fill you in!

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(my current TO-READ list…not all bought at the same time, thank you very much)
Living Well Spending Less, Ruth Soukoup
Uninvited, living loved when you feel less than, lonely & left out: Lysa TerKeurst
Triggers: Exchanging Parents Angry reactions for gentle biblical responses
Hope Unfolding, Becky Thompson
Living Well Spending Zero, Ruth Soukup
Devotions for a Healthier You, Katie Farrell

On your amazon app, PLEASE tell me you at least have the amazon app on your phone!! On your app there is a handy little bar code scanner. It scans the bar code, or any lettering on the package and then pulls up the matching product on amazon. It gives you the price, which is almost ALWAYS cheaper. You can add it to your cart from there or add it to a wishlist. My poor wishlists are overflowing with books and other miscellaneous crap that I think i’ll need some day.

Okay, so now you’ve been properly educated about the Amazon app – Also, many stores will price match Amazon – Target being the one I use most often. Best Buy also price matches, and I THINK Toys R Us will as well – Don’t quote me on that one, but I think it’s true. (price matching has to be on the exact same product, and it must be an amazon prime product, free shipping).

I think my job is done here for today – I’ve given you a sufficient list of books to check into, and I’ve taught you about the amazingness that is the Amazon app. Now it’s time for me to read & eat breakfast. Baby sister is kicking around saying she’s hungry.

 

Until next time,

Jena